Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Growth Deal Announces Funding - good news for Birmingham

This is a positive move for the regions - although Labour's proposals promise even more funding and freedom for regional groupings. The Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership - the government's chosen method of delivering funding - has been given £357 million to support training and education and deliver on infrastructure needs. The GBSLEP will be able to fund 34 projects over the next few years. Unfortunately, this doesn't even reach the targets that Lord Heseltine proposed in his No Stone Unturned report, as that promised an annual pot five times bigger than the £2 billion that the government is offering a year. It is ironic that a Tory peer gets the regional need far better than his government.

Within Birmingham, this will help fund major repairs to the Tame Valley Viaduct (better known as the elevated stretch of the A38M that carries 100,000 vehicles a day) and station improvements around Snow Hill. It will also help us maximise the benefit of HS2 by improving local transport links - connecting New Street and Moor Street, extending the Metro to Centenary Square, down to the Curzon Street HS2 station site and on to Edgbaston, bus rapid transit from Quinton into the city centre and put some more money into improving walking and cycling in Birmingham. There will also be funding to support the extension of Battery Way in Tyseley - something I want to keep a close eye on, as regenerating the brown field site there is one thing, but I'm wary of other potential side effects.

In terms of business support and training, money will go into skills to support car manufacture, life sciences, aviation engineering, food technology and advanced technologies.

This is good news for Birmingham and the wider area - the Black Country LEP doesn't do badly either.

It is just a shame that the government haven't been brave or generous enough. Lord Heseltine urged them to do more and Labour will deliver our proposals quickly if we're elected next year.

Planning Applications to the 5 July 2014

I've not done this in a while, so I'm starting again.

2014/04523/PA - 2 Ingram Grove, Acocks Green, B27 7SQ

Erection of two storey and single storey rear extensions and alterations to roof

2014/04084/PA - 72 Oakhurst Road, Birmingham, B27 7PG
Erection of 1 no. two bedroom attached house within curtilage of existing house

2014/04404/PA - 168 School Road, Hall Green, B28 8PA
This site is within the School Road Conservation Area
Erection of two storey side and rear extension to form new retail unit on ground floor and two bedroom flat above and single storey rear extension to existing shop

2014/04499/PA - 78 Lulworth Road, Hall Green, B28 8NT
Application for a Certificate of Lawfulness for the proposed erection of a single storey rear extension

2014/04197/PA - 21 Glaisdale Road, Birmingham B28 8PX
Erection of two storey side and single storey front extension with porch

2014/04299/PA - Lidl UK Gmbh, Olton Boulevard East, B27 7RR
Variation of condition C2 attached to planning approval 2000/01878/PA to allow collection and delivery of goods 06:00 to 22:00 Monday to Saturday and 08:00 to 20:00 Sundays and Bank Holidays

You can find the details by inputting the reference number into the Council online database here
If you have any comments, you can submit them online - feel free to pass your comments on to me.

Road Repairs - Arden Road and Norland Road - starting wk comm 14 July

As a result of an inspection, there are some localised repairs to be made to the road surface between 75 and 91 Arden Road and on Norland Road between Pool Farm Road and Dolphin Lane.

The work is due to start during the week of the 14 July 2014 and is estimated to take about five days, with work being carried out between the hours of 8am and 6pm.

Road closures will be in place while work is in progress and there will be some restriction on access to property. Please don't park vehicles on this stretch of the road during this period, as they may have to be removed and there will be a charge for release. If you need urgent access to your property, then ask the crew on site or call 0121 303 6644 (option 2). Pedestrian access will be maintained throughout.

Monday, July 07, 2014

Strike action - Thursday 10 July

As you may have heard, local authority staff will be taking strike action on Thursday 10 July. This is likely to affect bin collections, so here's the advice on what to do if you have a collection scheduled for that day.

Please put your green bins, black or green sacks or recycling boxes out AS NORMAL.

If they have not been collected by the end of the day, please LEAVE THEM OUT for collection. It will be cleared over the weekend or sooner if possible.

There is no need to report a missed collection

Sorry for the inconvenience, but the rubbish will be cleared as soon as possible.

Quad bikes and antisocial behaviour

I've heard a lot of complaints about anti-social use of quad bikes and off road bikes. These have been passed on to the local police, who have responded, despite their limited resources.

Sadly, due to service cuts, there aren't as many traffic officers trained to ride the off-road bikes, so there is a huge demand for their services. These are the team that can conduct pursuits safely across areas like Fox Hollies Park - there used to be a unit operating out of Stechford, but that was removed. Nevertheless, the police have put together a sufficiently persuasive bid that saw the bikes put to work in Acocks Green and they recovered the stolen bike in the next picture.

They have also been tackling quad bikers who are driving in an anti-social manner, particularly on the Gospel Estate. Two have so far been issued with s59 notices, which means if they are caught repeating the behaviour, the drivers will have the bikes removed and impounded. They then face a £250 recovery charge, plus £10 a day until the bike is collected by somebody insured to take it.

The police have also had helicopter support to deal with the problem - with the chopper even lifting on a number of occasions specifically to support operations against anti-social behaviour and vehicle theft in Acocks Green.

The problems haven't been fixed, but it is really good to hear that the police have been able to respond to the concerns raised.

They always need your support, so if you have any information that can help tackle this behaviour, you can always contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Carnival 2014

A really good day at the Acocks Green carnival yesterday. After heavy showers very early on, the rain held off for the rest of the day and the parade went off well. We had our usual stall under the treeline and I spent some time helping with the parade marshalling (sorry to any drivers who were inconvenienced while the parade passed down through the Village).

This is a great annual event, which is part funded by the Ward Committee Community Chest, but driven by a dedicated community organisation. It just shows what people can achieve together.

And the Guess the Weight of The Cake competition was won by a Mr SW from Sheldon, who was closest at 3lbs 8oz.